Some of the changes that have occurred in the farriery sector over time are:
• From the Blacksmith to a Farrier
The farrier is no longer considered as the local blacksmith, over time the farriery sector became a trade in its’ own rights. Once the use of the horse was in demand whether it was cavalry needs, working in fields, transport requirements and / or sports the trade of farriery changed with the necessity. The farrier became a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of a horse’s hoof so as to fit shoes to the horse’s foot. A farrier couples a subset of the blacksmith’s skills that is fabricating, adapting, and adjusting metal shoes, with a subset of veterinary medicine that is the knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the lower limb, to address the care of the horse’s feet.
• From Hand-Made to Mass Production
Another change in the farriery sector was horseshoes production. Hand-made shoes were time consuming and employment intensive. Over time machine-made mass production horseshoes making took over and nowadays one can find of the shelf excellent horseshoe made of different materials, these are made in a whole range of styles, weights and sizes. As a consequence forging was reduced considerable, but still the farriery sector is expected to manufacture hand-made horseshoes.
• Farriery for Treatment Purposes
Over time the way of thinking about horses changed, from the working creature to the elusive, competitive sports companion, the expected out-put from the farriery sector grew. The farrier was expected to develop treatments for several diseases that were considered incurable. This situation and market demands changed the farriery sector for good and from just nailing a shoe to the hoof, the shoe had to fit the finished hoof. Additional tasks for the farriery sector include dealing with injured and / or application of special shoes for racing, training or cosmetic purposes. In cases of horses with certain diseases or injuries, special reparative procedures were introduced, and then special shoes may need to be constructed and fitted.